TIM AND ERIC CREATE YOUR NEW FAVORITE RELIGION
When you’re offered to interview absurdist comedy duo Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim ‘in character,’ it’s a challenge to know how to prepare. Those familiar with the funnymen know that the one thing you can expect from these two is the unexpected. The pair gained their cult following through their Adult Swim TV shows, Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, Check It Out! with Dr. Steve Brule and their latest Tim and Eric’s Bedtime Stories, but have recently branched out with their latest project, Tim and Eric’s Zone Theory: 7 Easy Steps to Achieve a Perfect Life, a self-help book riffing on Scientology and other suspicious ‘religions.’
The satirical comedy couple immediately did what they do best. Pulling from the strange man that sat a couple feet away from us, grunting and yelling into a computer monitor, or the TV across the room, it was impossible for them to not find the funniest parts of everything around them. Milk Made’s Jordan Mack got to sit with Tim and Eric to discuss Zone Theory, from it’s turkey man leader, Ba’Hee Priss Dimmie, how it’s actually just a pyramid scheme, and its many iterations to come.
So Zone Theory is your new self help book. Who are you trying to reach with it?
TIM: Men who feel that life has become too complicated or that they’re too unsuccessful. People that need help clarifying and simplifying who they are.
ERIC: We feel that in our lives, there are a lot of scumbags. A lot of trash men, trash people. We’re sick of dealing with them. If a couple of more people picked up Zone Theory and did the zones –
TIM: It would spread like wildfire.
Right, less trash people. You have mentioned that a lot of research went into this. How did you come to the 7 steps?
TIM: Well, we opened ourselves up to it. We let ourselves experience Ba’hee Priss Dimmie. We let his message be absorbed into us.
So, Ba’hee Priss Dimmie. How did you come into contact with it? Him? Her?
ERIC: It’s a turkey man so its up for grabs what it’s pronouns are. It came to us in a very dark time. After we made our movie and finished our TV show, we were just kind of wandering aimlessly around Hollywood.
TIM: We were truly spiritually bankrupt.
ERIC: We thought it might have been a hallucination, but after days of both of us seeing Ba’hee Priss Dimmie and realizing it was a real thing, it taught us the principles and foundation of Zone Theory.
What are the core tenets?
TIM: The core tenets are to simplify life and identify the 7 zones in life, which we spell out. It’s how to attack those zones and perfect them. Then, spread the message.
ERIC: We call that ‘evangelizing.’
TIM: Also, to give back in another way, through sacrifice and giving something up. So, it’s really identifying, aligning, sacrificing and letting the world know about the process. The idea is for it to be easy. Any man can do it.
ERIC: Well, we will have a follow up book. We had some backlash from ‘women.’ So our next book, Tim and Eric’s Zone Theory for Women is in the works. Zone Theory is already a best seller, so we’re going to use those funds to put out a bunch of different Zone Theory books for personal use.
Does Zone Theory change a lot in the next iteration for women?
TIM: It’s really a matter of switching he to she for the full manuscript.
ERIC: It’s a select all kind of thing.
TIM: Yeah, find and replace he to she. It will have to be spot checked after though. It’s really not a blind find and replace then publish deal. It will require at least one proofread.
Extracting poems is a really big part of Zone Theory. Have you heard any great poems, or extracted any yourself?
ERIC: Finding poems deep in your mind is real. You want to get the poems out of your head, but it’s also a metaphor. Open up, let the zone work. A lot of things will come out, emotions, fears, sexual fantasies. We want to open you up to finding this new path. Some of it doesn’t even rhyme. We thought that was bullshit, but Ba’hee taught us that those are actually poems that should be cherished.
[man starts grunting and moaning close by]
TIM: That’s a poem in the works right there. It’s almost like watching someone give birth, or have a bowel movement. Truly magic.
I understand that bowel movements are a part of Zone Theory too, in a spaghetti pot specifically. Was that Ba’hee Priss Dimmie?
TIM: It’s the cleansing aspect of it, and honestly, part of the sacrifice if it hurts enough. That’s how you get real answers your questions, how you’re guided through Zone Theory. Ba’hee just lead us on this path. It’s not his theory, it’s our theory. He set us on a road, and we don’t look back.
ERIC: He set up the tenets and the rest of it is just us. We add to his basic principles, and the poo. We added the poo.
Where do you feel like the threshold changes from a more casual believer to a hardcore follower of Zone Theory?
TIM: We don’t really see a threshold, though if you’re below Zone 8, you’re shit.
ERIC: You’re just a trash person.
You said that most people start at Zone 2, what kind of person is at Zone 1 then?
TIM: If you’re at Zone 1, you’re working at Subway, but it’s not like you’re there because you’re in high school.
Like if you were a manager at Subway?
TIM: Not even. Subway managers are people I respect, admire, strive towards. When you’re 42 and just picking up shifts, and you don’t see things getting better. That’s Zone 1, but after Zone Theory for Women, we’re coming out with a Pre Zone Theory, to get you prepped for the real Zone Theory, where it can really work.
ERIC: Vince Neil.
TIM: You’ll find that things like this start in that rarer air of Hollywood royalty. They are the true arbiters of culture. They create the books and TV and movies, they create our culture. They are the inventors of Halloween.
ERIC: You know, a lot of celebrities are looking for an alternative to Scientology, or Mormonism. Most of these people turned to us for comedy advice in ‘the biz.’ This is the natural progression, developing a whole life system.
TIM: You have about 250 million people looking to Vince Neil thinking, ‘What do I wear? What do I watch? What kind of shampoo do I use? What kind of cereal do I eat? How should I walk? What should I use to stimulate me sexually?’
ERIC: We gave Vince about 200,000 copies of the book to give his friends. We sold those to him for about 20% off, and he sells them to his friends for whatever he pleases.
A pyramid-esque business model?
TIM: Definitely, it’s a pyramid scheme, but I promise you, it’s one that works. There are real results.
Are there any other Plane 8 Zone Masters like you two?
TIM: Yes, but they will not be revealed until 2017.
ERIC: We can give you one hint: Napoleon Dynamite. I can’t tell you what it means. It’s not the character, but someone involved in the production or acting. That’s neither here nor there.
TIM: I’ll give you another clue though. It’s a big one, but we’re excited.
[TIM points to a TV showing Donald Trump giving an election speech]
ERIC: Might show up in some election speeches. Who knows.
If you could get anything written on your brass knuckles, what would you have written?
TIM: Mine would say, ‘KEEP THE CHANGE’ and when I tip, I just drop it like I do the mic.
Is there anything else you want the readers to know about Zone Theory, or you guys?
TIM: It doesn’t hurt to get a few copies of the book. They’re poorly made and will fall apart after a read or two. Get a couple, one that you keep sealed. When the 5th or 6th edition of the book is out, you’ll have a first edition, sealed. You can triple, even quadruple your investment.
Purchase Tim and Eric’s Zone Theory: 7 Easy Steps to Achieve a Perfect Life here
Tim and Eric photographed exclusively for Milk Made by Andrew Boyle